The discipline involved with cultivating relationships with our beloved dead and the spirits of the land is invaluable when it comes to forming relationships and alliances with Deities. When we learn to take part in ongoing devotional practices and keep our commitments with our ancestors and the land, we are then ready to make real and lasting commitments to our Gods. Before we have these fundamental skills and relationships in order, we are more likely to make mistakes and bite off more than we can chew by making promises that we don’t yet know how to keep. There is no such thing as instant gratification in this work. In order to build something worthwhile, you need a strong foundation: devotion, commitment, offerings and respect. Lather, rinse, repeat.
You’ll be amazed how much easier it is to get a Deity to work with you once you have a skill set that makes you a valuable devotee. When you have happy ancestors and land spirits who like you, then the Gods and Goddesses will take note and you will become very interesting to them. Conversely, if you can’t be relied upon to light a candle for grandma or set out offerings for the land spirits, a passing Deity might wonder why they should bother chatting up someone who hasn’t figured out the value of service. And make no mistake, any Deity is going to want you to serve…there is no free lunch. Deities are not congregating about in some astral green room waiting for someone to ask them for stuff so they can cheerfully give it without the expectation of devotion in return.